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Francesca Cainelli

Clinical Interest:

Infectious Disease (Hepatologist)

Education Background:

University of Verona in Italy


English, Italian

Dr. Francesca Cainelli was born in Italy and intended to be a medical doctor since her secondary school years. She completed both the MD program and a four-year residency program in infectious diseases at the University of Verona in Northern Italy.

After completing her residency, Dr. Cainelli worked for some years as a consultant in infectious diseases and in emergency medicine in two Italian tertiary referral hospitals. In 2009, she moved to Botswana, where she worked for seven years as senior lecturer in the department of internal medicine at the University of Botswana Medical School, and as consultant in infectious diseases and internal medicine at Princess Marina Hospital (the main referral hospital of the country) in Gaborone. In that hospital she was also appointed head of the department of medicine—an extremely busy department with more than 100 inpatients, 20 admissions per day and 500 outpatients daily—for three and a half years. Dr. Cainelli opened the first clinic exclusively devoted to patients with liver diseases in Botswana at Princess Marina Hospital, and developed an interest in rare genetic diseases.

Subsequently Dr. Cainelli moved to Kazakhstan, where she worked as associate professor of internal medicine at the Nazarbayev University School of Medicine—the country’s most important medical school—in Nur-Sultan, the capital city, for 40 months.

Since August 2019, Dr. Cainelli has worked at Raffles Medical Clinic in Phnom Penh. She is also an adjunct clinical professor of medicine at the University of Puthisastra.

This background gives Dr. Cainelli 20 years of considerable post-specialisation clinical experience in Italy, Botswana, Kazakhstan and Cambodia—over which time she has developed a considerable interest and extensive experience in infectious diseases, internal medicine, hepatology and rare genetic diseases.

In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Cainelli has always maintained interest in research and has published almost 100 papers in highly reputable international medical journals. Her research has focused mainly on viral hepatitis, HIV infection and rare genetic diseases. Being particularly interested in liver diseases in low and middle income countries, Dr. Cainelli has written extensively on various topics in the field, including the role of alcohol consumption in the progression of chronic infection with hepatitis C; the possible reactivation of chronic hepatitis B and C viruses in patients receiving immunosuppressive treatments for diseases such as leukemia; the role of viruses in triggering autoimmune hepatitis; and the risk of acute liver failure due to hepatitis A virus in patients with chronic hepatitis C.